President of the Prison Officers’ Association of Trinidad and Tobago, Ceron Richards has made it clear that despite the pressure being put on them to accept Government’s 4% wage negotiation offer, the unions will not back down.
Richards was speaking with reporters outside of the CPO’s office in Port of Spain on Friday, following a demonstration march together with representatives of the Fire Officers’ Association, the Police Social and Welfare Association and JTUM members.
The unions gathered there to hand deliver their rejection letter to the CPO as they say his offer is simply an insult to their work.
“The Prison Officers Association has always communicated with the CPO that what we want first and foremost is a negotiation that is not robbed of its integrity… the CPO and by extension, the government is robbing us of that sacred process that is outlined in law.”
Richards said, as a result, the unions are not afraid of any legal action which may be taken against them as a result of their decision.
“We are not to be bullied and frightened into a court in a process that is young, that we still have discussions ensuing and the CPO is bullying his way, telling us he is going to carry us to court. We are not impressed about that at all, as a matter of fact, we are telling the CPO, Bring it on! I dare you, bring it on!”
He added, “Take the whole country to court, all the workers of Trinidad and Tobago, take them to court! Because if that is the Government’s rendition of managing an economy, well heaven help them.”
Richards said as a result of the delays in the negotiation process, further action is expected:
“Members are now getting angrier and angrier and they are going to become less negotiable and they are going to take matters in their own hands.”
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